Nora Collins: Nora Collins (MV2 Entertainment)
Nora Collins’ ascent in the ranks of country music with commercial radio in mind continues apace with the release of a five-song EP. Upping the ante from her previous recordings of her own compositions and those crafted with local songwriters, she’s now collaborating with Music City professionals. Her time in Nashville as a publishing house staff songwriter is yielding results that easily could win rotation on country radio. And often as not, they’re rather adult for the Brookfield native who started out seemingly not long ago as a teenager following in Taylor Swift’s wake.
Collins sings of the addiction to and pains of love from her most mature perspective yet. With a different arrangement, one Nora number could pass for a Katy Perry empowerment anthem, but give her a break: Collins is aiming more for the side of the genre spectrum inhabited by Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride (with whose husband, Terry McBride, and ’90s hit maker with McBride & The Ride, she co-wrote one song here) more than Margo Price’s or Lydia Loveless’ grittier aesthetic. It would be a shame were Collins’ writing work to recuse her from her winsome recording and performing, but should that become the case, she proves here that she has the goods to make it from a platform less in the limelight.